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Hing Lung [San Francisco] [now Fremont]

p
PuffinCA Feb 16, 2012 11:02 AM

Went by this morning for my once a month jook. The place was dark and a loses sign was out front. Are they closed permanently?

  1. Melanie Wong Sep 18, 2013 06:37 PM

    I walked by Hing Lung on Broadway this morning. The "for lease" signs are down and the windows are covered with paper. Hing Lung's sign is still up overhead and in fact looked like it might have been cleaned. I asked the one workman who came out the door if this was a remodel for the same owner and he said "yes", but I'll add the caveat that I'm not sure that he completely understood me. Still, there seems to be chance that Hing Lung will re-open.

    I looked up the building permit specified in this posted notice,
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

    It's for "REPLACE (E) FLOOR TILES & WALL TILES IN DINING AREA AND IN TOILET. APROXIMATELY 500 S.F."

     
    32 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      vincentlo Sep 19, 2013 05:16 AM

      Were you impressed by their jook/porridge? Back in the 90s I was told that was what they were famous for. I tried a couple times, and things were all right but really nothing to write home about. Remember there are a million other similar Cantonese restaurants around there in Chinatown. Pick the top 10% and they must be as good right? No?

      1. re: vincentlo
        Tripeler Sep 19, 2013 06:58 AM

        Vincent, when you say "nothing to write home about" are you thinking of Hong Kong or your current place mid-peninsula?

        1. re: vincentlo
          Melanie Wong Sep 19, 2013 09:44 AM

          The quality of the jook depended on time of day. Best after 10pm and before 10am with a freshly made silken texture and the last-minute addition of a spot of cooked oil. The raw fish slice jook used delicate soong yu, whereas other places use heavier rockfish instead. I also miss the fried cruller sticks still sizzling hot, right out of the oil. So the combination of these things and late night hours made Hing Lung unique in SF Chinatown.

          Where have you tried jook in Chinatown that's similar? I haven't found it yet.

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            RWCFoodie Sep 19, 2013 12:10 PM

            As Melanie Wong says:
            "fried cruller sticks still sizzling hot, right out of the oil"

            To me that's what made Hing Lung special - watching the worker behind the window making them & then being served while they were still hot, absolutely the best...

            Is there any other place in the Bay Area where they make them fresh, in house and serve them while they're still hot from the fryer?

            1. re: RWCFoodie
              Melanie Wong Sep 19, 2013 12:23 PM

              Sam Wo was the only other place that I've had one fried on the spot, but it's shut down too.

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                RWCFoodie Sep 19, 2013 06:18 PM

                Tks, really too bad... I find the reheated from frozen ones are awful :-(

              2. re: RWCFoodie
                Melanie Wong Sep 19, 2013 04:16 PM

                Apparently Hing Lung re-opened this summer in Fremont but was shut down by the health department there too. I've checked Alameda County's restaurant inspection list and it is not included under Hing Lung. The previous tenant in that space, Chinese Cuisine, is in the database but with no current inspection results, so can't tell what's going on. The phone number is still connected, but I get no answer.

                39144 Paseo Padre Pkwy
                Fremont, CA 94538
                (510) 505-9255
                https://plus.google.com/1082788692615...

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  Melanie Wong Dec 5, 2013 01:29 PM

                  I tried calling this number again and got an answer. Hing Lung is gone from this address. The new owner named it Gum Wong (Chinese name) but the name in English is still Chinese Cuisine. The gentleman said that it has jook, dim sum, noodles, etc.

                  Chinese Cuisine
                  39144 Paseo Padre Pkwy
                  Fremont, CA 94538
                  (510) 505-9255

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    s
                    shanghaikid Dec 5, 2013 05:00 PM

                    the past weekend had ads in tsing tao newspaper:
                    1-"new hing lung" in chinese was listed at 36659 fremont blvd.

                    when i went there, the chinese name was "new hing lung" but the english name was still MW Gourmet.
                    -ate there before. horrible food

                    2- an ad for "Chinese Cuisine" . name in english at the paseo padre address. (did not go there).

                    1. re: shanghaikid
                      Melanie Wong Dec 5, 2013 05:16 PM

                      Thanks for the intell. Did you order anything at New Hing Lung or were you scared off by your earlier experience?

                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        s
                        shanghaikid Dec 6, 2013 03:50 PM

                        looked at menu which had mw's name on it.
                        just a waste of money since mw uses lots of msg and little other flavoring.

                        1. re: shanghaikid
                          Melanie Wong Dec 6, 2013 04:12 PM

                          I'm trying not to take this personally. ;)

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            s
                            shanghaikid Dec 6, 2013 05:14 PM

                            ha ha. the old name "MW Gourmet"

                2. re: Melanie Wong
                  vincentlo Sep 20, 2013 07:28 AM

                  Oh Melanie, you really know how to make me write a detailed post when I really don't want to. ;-) Great jook or porridge is really easy to make at home, especially if you have a fuzzy-logic rice cooker. Just get a nice short-grain rice like Californian koshihikari, add (if you don't mind fishiness and bones) the $2-3/lb. fish scraps from an Asian grocery store, and you can make a fish porridge better than what 99% of the restaurants can produce. Unfortunately when I refrigerate the leftover and try to microwave it later, the jook invariably turns water and loses the thick "cottony" texture when freshly cooked.

                  There is a recent article from Hong Kong saying that rock cod used in all the inexpensive Cantonese restaurants is actually frozen sole. The fish in jook in the vast majority of Cantonese restaurants in the Bay Area is tasteless, and I don't know if they use rock cod, rockfish, or sole. It took me a minute before I realized what you meant above for "soong yu," which most restaurants translate as sturgeon. Believe it or not a number of Oakland Chinatown restaurants serve sturgeon in their fish jook or noodles. To me these thin slices taste fresh and clean like good freshwater carp. I tried buying live sturgeon from the tank once and steaming/microwaving it like how I would cook other live fish (striped bass, catfish, tilapia, etc.), and realized the fish had a million tiny bones which were hard to get rid off. This is probably why Bow Hon in SF Chinatown can afford to overcharge for its (albeit delicious) fish salad made with (stingy amounts) of sturgeon, with so much crispy rice sticks in the dish it makes my jaw hurt after a few bites every time! I found this place in SF Chinatown called Utopia Cafe at 139 Waverly Place, and its Chinese name includes the character jook so I figured they must specialize in Cantonese jook, and their menu includes unique offerings like a jook base (which implies they expect you to order extra meats to be mixed in) which includes American ginseng. Unfortunately this is on my list of restaurants to try and so I have no actual feedback to report.

                  I tried some jook at Yuet Lee for lunch a few months ago, which is uncommon since I almost never go there except at 2:30 AM on weekends. It was light and bland, and so they use either no or little MSG. Probably too bland for most folks but I like it.

                  1. re: vincentlo
                    Melanie Wong Sep 20, 2013 11:51 AM

                    If you search the Home Cooking board, you'll find a few posts I've made over the years with tips on how to make jook at home. So yes, I'm well aware of how easy it is to make in a rice cooker. But as you point out, the liquid separates and the texture becomes more watery when reheated, so it's no use having a batch in the fridge or freezer if texture is important as I pointed out in my post above. And at 1am, I do not have the patience to make my own fresh.

                    What I mean by soong yu is not sturgeon, but Sacramento blackfish. As you discovered, it has a million tiny bones and requires an expert hand to fillet. Here's more about it,
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573124

                    It has been a few years since my last meal at Utopia. Time to return, but it is not open late nor does it make yu tiao fresh on the spot.
                    http://www.utopiacafechinatown.com/

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      vincentlo Sep 20, 2013 02:52 PM

                      I mentioned how easy it is to make Cantonese jook (actually Chiuchow jook is Cantonese too but it's a completely different animal) as a question of why Hing Lung's jook is (or excuse me, was) so special. But Melanie, you did ask a good question of where else in SF Chinatown would offer an excellent jook, because off my head, I can't name one. This reminds me of the discussion here about Jai Yun where many including myself think the dishes are outrageously priced, but yet few can name comparable competitors.

                      I am pretty sure the "soony yu" we are talking about is translated as sturgeon, at least in the multiple Oakland Chinatown fishmongers and restaurants. I knew it couldn't be sturgeon when I saw the translation years ago; I even thought to myself hilariously: "Sturgeon? Like where I'd get Russian caviar?!" Strangely I have only seen this "sturgeon" in smaller fish markets but not say in larger places like Marina or Ranch 99 where the live fish staples are always tilapia, catfish, and striped bass.

                      1. re: vincentlo
                        Melanie Wong Sep 20, 2013 03:07 PM

                        There is California sturgeon. It is farmed commercially. Flesh is firm and meaty and the bones are soft like cartilage, so very different from Sacramento blackfish. It often appears as fish two-ways on Cantonese menus, a stir-fry of the boneless meat + soup made from the bones

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          vincentlo Sep 20, 2013 03:31 PM

                          I just looked at a few Chinese takeout menus here. Is California sturgeon you mentioned above (that often appears as fish two or even three ways) translated as chum-lung (lung as pronounced as loe-ng meaning dragon in Chinese)?

                          1. re: vincentlo
                            Melanie Wong Sep 20, 2013 03:35 PM

                            Gosh, don't know, someone else will need to field that one. Dragon would be a good name for sturgeon since it is an ancient fish with no scales and cartilage instead of a bony skeleton. A maritime dinosaur.

                            1. re: vincentlo
                              yimster Sep 21, 2013 08:47 AM

                              chum lung is the name of sturgeon and soony yu is a fish called hard head as well as other names. It is a boney fish which only the Chinese use.

                              As for reheating jook a mirco wave is not what you do. Reheat on the stove top with low heat works better.

                      2. re: vincentlo
                        grayelf Sep 20, 2013 07:56 PM

                        I hope you go and check out Utopia, vincent. It was one of the first places we went in SF, before I knew about Chowhound. They used to have "tea snacks" in the afternoon, with a phenomenal deepfried squid. We went a couple of times, in fact.

                        1. re: grayelf
                          yimster Sep 20, 2013 09:24 PM

                          Utopia is one of our favorite places to eat but jook is not something I normally eat out since we make a pot every other week at home. But since reading Vincent post I will try it the next time I am in the city.

                          Utopia is the place I go for claypot rice dishes.

                          1. re: yimster
                            ...tm... Sep 21, 2013 03:26 AM

                            Funny, I've been using your jook recipe and have found it is the only jook I've had that I actually crave--a combo of your recipe and rich homemade chicken stock makes it my favorite. As a gweilo I've tried it at several places to see how it "should" taste. I recently enjoyed East Ocean's version (chicken broth based, not fish), but still like your recipe better. Thanks!!
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2790...

                            1. re: ...tm...
                              yimster Sep 21, 2013 08:50 AM

                              You are welcome. There are only two jook stocks I like better but not easy to have. Stocks made from turkey bones or Roast whole pig bones. But using homemade anything is best.

                              1. re: yimster
                                RWCFoodie Sep 21, 2013 07:39 PM

                                Thanks to yimster for telling me about making jook with roast pig parts... I think the best jook I've ever made was with feet and a head from a roast pig. Still remember the looks on the faces of the ladies in the roastie place when I asked to buy the head!

                    2. re: vincentlo
                      m
                      ML8000 Sep 19, 2013 11:52 AM

                      I always got the chow fun from HL.

                    3. re: Melanie Wong
                      s
                      slew Sep 19, 2013 10:57 AM

                      This would be cool if it's true...

                      I have friends in SoCal that claim they can't get/find the same quality fried bread that was served at Hing Lung... *shrug*

                      1. re: slew
                        s
                        soupçon Sep 20, 2013 08:29 PM

                        Youtiao is always best fresh out of the oil, and that's the way it was always served at Hing Lung.

                        1. re: soupçon
                          Tripeler Sep 20, 2013 08:44 PM

                          I used to buy these at a little Chinese market in Sacramento with a dimsum kitchen in the back. They were on the menu written as "You Tell" and my friends and I always joked about that.

                      2. re: Melanie Wong
                        Melanie Wong Dec 5, 2013 01:35 PM

                        It's been nearly three months now, any progress to report? This isn't my neighborhood. I looked in the restaurant inspection database and nothing listed for Hing Lung at this address yet.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          m
                          Mul Dec 5, 2013 04:40 PM

                          I had a lunch nearby at Yuet Lee and asked the waitress if she knows if Hing Lung is re-opening; she said it's not Hing Lung.

                          1. re: Mul
                            Melanie Wong Dec 5, 2013 05:22 PM

                            Thanks, so I guess we can close this San Francisco chapter and watch what's happening in the East Bay.

                            I looked by address, and no inspections on file yet.

                      3. h
                        hyperbowler Feb 16, 2012 04:25 PM

                        ThaDu, do you have new info? The last I heard, in the link below, they have the option of re-applying for a permit six months after they got shot down:

                        http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2012...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hyperbowler
                          b
                          billee Jun 16, 2012 03:58 PM

                          The unthinkable has happened. Walked by Hing Lung this afternoon and was met by a locked, dark restaurant with 2 prominent " For rent" signs posted on the door. An era has ended. RIP Hing Lung!!

                        2. t
                          ThaDu Feb 16, 2012 11:12 AM

                          yes

                          1. wolfe Feb 16, 2012 11:12 AM

                            Apparently closed by health department with reinspection showing not enough improvement but with corrections ongoing in December.

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